Feds: Only Swedes have higher unemployment rate --- by .1 percent

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Jobs,Economy,Unemployment,Sweden

The growing unemployment rate in the United States is among the highest in the industrialized world, with only Sweden having a harder time putting people to work, according to a new international employment analysis by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In November, the BLS found that Sweden had an unemployment rate of 8 percent, while the United States came in at 7.7 percent. That was before today's announcement that the U.S. rate is a staggering 7.9 percent.

The other countries the BLS studies that supplied November unemployment rates--Canada, Australia, Japan and Netherlands--were all significantly lower. Japan was the lowest at 3.8 percent.

In October and September, Italy and France reported higher unemployment; Sweden was just a hair below the U.S. rate.

The unemployment rate in the U.S. has consistently been among the highest among the countries covered in the BLS "comparisons program" during the recession, though typically less than in Italy and France.

There are, however, other notable Western nations not in the BLS study suffering much worse unemployment, such as Spain where the rate is 26 percent.